He needed shoes for his horse, so what did he do? He learned how to make the shoes himself, of course.

“I started because I was going through shoes real quick,” Len Stanley said. “I needed someone to shoe my horse. I was driving on the road, and that wears them out fast.”

Along with the convenience of no longer needing to obtain farrier services from others, it was also a great cost-saving measure.

“They can get expensive,” he said. “Sometimes I would go through a set a week.” 

But just shoeing his own horses was not enough for the young horseman, so he set about learning the trade and sharing his services with others. It has become his way of life.

The certified American Farriers Association member said he apprenticed with some of the best farriers in the industry when he was learning and has studied his chosen trade through many reputable farrier programs over the years. He said a lot has changed in the way horses are cared for and shod, and he keeps up with current practices.

With today’s advancements in veterinary care and proper feeding, he sees many more horses living into their 20s –and even 30s– than in the past. He said the feet stay relatively the same as they reach the geriatric stage, depending upon the quality of care.

“When I was growing up, if a horse was 12, he was old,” he said. “Nowadays, they last a long time.”

He told the story of a horse he went to shoe for a woman recently.

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